Presidential race coverage focusing solely on sensationalism
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In a presidential race with the focus solely on sensationalism, the media is pushing truly important stories aside.

With its continued affinity for style over substance, the media is taking its eye off the ball. 

Way, way off the ball. 


Think about the news that we've heard lately — not on page one or even page two — but the big news that's out there underneath all the noise around Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE, such as grieving parents and rigged elections. Stories that are not, but should be, part of the lead narrative in the media today: 

Our GDP grew just 1.2 percent last quarter, a huge improvement over the 1.1 percent it grew in the first quarter of 2016 (at last check, the economy is a No. 1 issue for voters in November, as is always the case).

— A classified White House map obtained by NBC News shows the number of countries ISIS is operating in has more than doubled since 2014, a direct contradiction of the Obama administration's portrayal of a shrinking, diminished Islamic State.

— A Wall Street Journal report says the White House sent $400 million to Iran the same days four American hostages were released. The White House never shared this transaction until being forced to respond to the report yesterday, claiming it was due to past payments overdue to the leading state sponsor of terror going back to the days of the Shah. 


But upon looking at the front page of the this morning, there isn't any mention of the aforementioned stories. But there are five pieces critical of Donald Trump and two favorable to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThree legal scholars say Trump should be impeached; one thinks otherwise Report: Barr attorney can't provide evidence Trump was set up by DOJ Jayapal pushes back on Gaetz's questioning of impeachment witness donations to Democrats MORE

What do those seven pieces as a whole have in common? 

Not one focuses on policy or big issues facing the country. Instead we get stories on Trump's chances (theme: not good), his fundraising (theme: unusual), his media coverage (theme: favorable on Fox), who he's not endorsing (Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDuncan Hunter pleads guilty after changing plea Trump campaign steps up attacks on Biden Trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and hardly a voice of caution to be heard MORE and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Top Armed Services Democrat scolds military leaders on Trump's intervention in war crimes cases MORE), his views on harassment (theme: blame the victim), his view on the upcoming election (theme: it's rigged against him). 

That's not to say any of those items aren't newsworthy. But compared to ISIS expansion, anemic economic growth and the potential of a quid pro quo exchanging one thing for another with Iran secretly (sounds like the '80s all over again), is this where the focus should be? 

The is no better, as expected: Six stories on Trump on page one, all negative. And one on the Democratic nominee titled, "How Clinton Can Win Over Republicans."

That's not to say Trump is having a good week. It's been quite the opposite and arguably his worst if polling that showed him with a small lead last week now decidedly reversing course (the RealClearPolitics average now favors Clinton 46.5 to 42.0). He's a political novice with a massive ego who still allows his emotions to get the better of him. One would think he would have learned the game a little better by now as we approach 14 months with him as a candidate, but unfiltered candor continues to be the modus operandi.

But in making this race about anything other than big issues and who has the best ideas and the fortitude to solve them, much of the media — seemingly without even knowing it — are all pointing their cameras and microphones in the wrong direction. 

Concha is a media reporter for The Hill.

The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.